Insights | The psychological view on influencermarketing

I, Chloë, am doing research for my applied psychology study in collaboration with House of Rebels, about the psychological effect of influencermarketing. I’ll keep you posted about my research findings every month. This month I will explain the psychological view of influencermarketing.


Nowadays, social media is everywhere and we are often keeping ourselves busy with it. We therefore allow ourselves to get influenced by it, by for example buying something that was promoted by an influencer. Sometimes we are aware of it and sometimes we aren’t. But why do we let ourselves get influenced by something that was promoted on social media? To find an answer to that question we did some research about psychological theories and processes. A few are explained.



Some people are motivated to draw attention to facts in a message on social media. For example, in a video where someone does an extensive review about a product and explains how the product can be used. In this case we would click on the video, watch it and take the time to listen to it. Herewith applies that when the facts are logical and appealing, we get influenced the most by them.

Under other circumstances people are not that motivated to pay attention to the facts, but to the superficial characteristics of a product. Does the product have a nice design or who is the messenger? This occurs by a simple Instagram of Facebook post. We scroll through our Instagram and remember the posts that stand out.


Social proof

We all know the phenomenon when we are thinking ‘if he/she thinks it’s good, it is good’.  According to Cialdini, professor psychology and marketing, this is the principal of social proof. ‘We determine what is correct by finding out what other people think is correct’. So, when that big influencer gushes about the newest shampoo, we know it’s a good shampoo, so we buy the shampoo.



What also matters is the credibility of the messenger. When the influencer can communicate the message of the product well; the more the consumer is willing to buy the product. For example, when an influencer mostly talks about video games and suddenly tries to sell a hair mask, it does not come across as credible and therefore the consumer will not buy the hair mask. This is also important when choosing the right influencer for the target audience of the product.